An indigenous host of this weekend’s Black Lives Matters Perth rally has hit back at Premier Mark McGowan’s plea to organisers of the rally to delay the event, asking “when is a good time?”
Megan Krakouer said it was important to hold the rally on Saturday with prejudice facing indigenous people along with deaths in custody remaining urgent, urging WA to not let another indigenous person die.
Speaking to WAMN News, she issued an impassioned response when asked if Mr McGowan’s statement addressed the ongoing urgency of issues facing indigenous people.
“Mr McGowan, this has been an ongoing issue for years. This is something that has not just happened overnight,” Ms Krakouer said, stating that it was an issue that had been ongoing since colonisation.
“When is it a good time to hold a rally? Next week, next months, two years’ time and let another life die or let another person get flogged and not have their stories told?”
Ms Krakouer, who is also the director of the National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project, said now was the time.
“This the most perfect time to hold it because there are many, many people, many eyes watching what’s happening here in Western Australia.”
“We have been suppressed, we have been pressed, we have had our voices not heard and there is a number of people in organisations, number of nationalities coming together to support this.”
She added that even without a coronavirus pandemic, Perth’s rally would also gain support.
“Lives matter. Black lives matter. Everyone’s life matter,” Ms Krakouer said.
Mr McGowan urged people to not attend mass demonstrations on Thursday to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He asked the organisers to “please use common sense here.”
“This is about trying to save people’s lives to stop any potential spread of the virus.”
“The issue about which people are protesting is held very deeply and is a very important issue, but if they can postpone the rally until after the COVID-19 period, after the pandemic is over, that would be far better,” Mr McGowan said.
However, Ms Krakouer said she indigenous people would not remain silent.
“We’re not going to continue to just remain silent on this,” she said.
“There is a number of people in organisations, number of nationalities coming together to support this, supporting the cause for the common good.”